When I was young, in the West Riding of Yorkshire 1942 to 1960 you would greet an acquaintance thus: "Aye up serry". I believe older residents of the village of Kiveton Park still use the phrase, or one like it identifying the object of the remark as 'serry'. I wonder if this could be traced back to 'sirrah', a 16th century 'corruption' of 'sire'. Can anyone shed light on this?
"Eigh-up, serry," they call out to you, as to one another, meaning: I have noticed you, sirrah (an Elizabethan word).
I, Said the Sparrow (1963), also by Paul West, is the oldest mention of the phrase that I found and says:
[page 82] 'Thee' and 'thou' are common forms of address; you always address a male interlocutor as 'serry' (which really brought to life for me the Elizabethan 'sirrah')
[page 87] He must have been one of the few literary editors who knew what the local greeting, 'Eigh-up, serry', meant.
Also, according to the 1920 Dialect of the Staffordshire Moorlands Transactions and Annual Report of the Staffordshire Field Club, volume LIV, pages 44-53,
The farm lad is still sirrah (pronounced surrey)
The common greeting among the young farm-hands (male) is “ How go, sirrah ? ” This, of course, is common enough in Shakespeare's time, cf. Ah, sirrah ” (As You Like It, iv, 3), and “ Sirrah begone ” (Marlowe, Edward II, v, 2).